Atlantis, and America’s last shuttle mission, is set to launch today. However, in Florida this morning it is cloudy and rainy. The shuttle astronauts geared up and have boarded Atlantis, and fuel has been loaded, for a possible 11:26 am EST launch.
At the time of writing, there is a 30% chance that the weather will be a ‘go’ for today’s launch. The chance of rain and storms remains at 70% throughout the day. Tomorrow it falls a bit, to 60%, and on Sunday the chance of showers is 50%. If Atlantis is unable to launch by Sunday or Monday at the latest, the launch will have to be held until July 16th, because of another scheduled launch.
The mission will be to take 8000+ pounds of supplies, a years worth, to the International Space Station. This is the 135th and final mission of the shuttle fleet, Atlantis’s 33rd flight. It’s expected to be the last time that NASA launches astronauts into space for at least 3 to 5 years.
For the first time we have seen, Nasa has built a ‘splash’ page that comes up when a visitor goes to their home page, nasa.gov. The splash page is has a stream of the launch prep, when it goes, the launch.
Nearly a million people are expected to try to watch the launch live, filling up hotels around Cape Canaveral, sleeping in cars, tents, and under the stars last night. Reports indicated that nearly any place that could be parked in along A1A was already taken by 6am this morning.